CHICO, Calif. –- Freshman Bre Anderson’s 1-out, 2-run double to leftfield ignited a 6-run sixth inning and propelled Azusa Pacific to its first win of the season, a 7-1 victory in the nightcap of a nonconference doubleheader at Chico State. The Wildcats rallied to win the first game, 8-7.
Anderson broke a scoreless tie and a marvelous pitchers’ dual with her third hit of the game, a line shot into the leftfield gap that plated Tami Carter and Tierney Burk. The Cougars added 4 more hits and 4 more runs in the inning but Anderson’s shot was all fellow freshman pitcher Erin Halma needed, as she scattered 4 hits to pick the complete-game victory, her first collegiate win. A 2-out single in the bottom of the seventh spoiled Halma’s shutout bid as she surrendered an unearned run.
Halma was sharp when she had to be, registering just one 1-2-3 inning on the night, and getting out of trouble in the first, second and sixth inning when Wildcats were in scoring position. In fact, Chico State led off the second inning with a double, but Halma induced a line-out to third and then 2 comebackers that she successfully fielded to keep Chico State off the scoreboard.
Anderson finished the game 4-for-4 with a run and 2 RBIs. Halma was 1-for-4 at the plate, lining a run-scoring double in the sixth that aided her own cause. Senior Courtney Cleaves capped the sixth with a run-scoring double to right-center and finished the game 1-for-4 with an RBI.
In the first game Chico’s Chelsea Lundberg delivered a 2-out, 2-run single in the bottom of the sixth to give the Wildcats an 8-7 victory in their home opener. Lundberg’s second hit of the game capped a Wildcat rally that brought Chico State back from a 7-2 deficit in its final 2 at-bats.
The Cougars scored 3 unearned runs in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead. Burk’s 2-out single to center scored Carter and Justine Barnett to highlight the inning.
Azusa Pacific added 4 more runs in the fifth inning, 3 of which were again unearned. Cleaves led off the inning with a triple and came home on a fielding error. Jessi Besseghini’s single through the right side scored Burk and pinch-runner Bethany Weisser to put the Cougars up 7-2.
Burk and Cleaves each had 2 hits in the game.
With the split, the Cougars are now 1-3 on the season. Chico State is 5-7.
Azusa Pacific opens GSAC play Saturday (Feb. 24) with a noon doubleheader vs. Point Loma Nazarene.